Tuesday, 02 Sep, 2008 Science

Scientists Discovered a Monogamy Gene in Men


It might be possible one day to tell whether a man will be a devoted husband just by looking at his DNA.

A new study revealed that variations of gene coding for the vasopressin hormone play an important role in determining if the person is prone to be monogamous or promiscuous.

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden studied the variations in this gene in 552 people who had been in heterosexual relationships for at least five years. During the study the researchers also examined the quality of the participants' relationships, measuring the level of pair bonding.

The findings showed that various forms of the gene RS3 334 predicted the quality of men's relationships. There are different variations of the RS3 334 gene section and men were found to have none, one or two copies of the RS3 334 section. It was found that men with two copies of this gene section were more likely to be unmarried and experience relationships crisis than those who had none or one copy of the RS3 334.

The previous studied revealed that variations in vasopressin hormone in prairie voles and meadow voles determined if the animals were monogamous or not. The hormone vasopressin is known to be linked to oxytocin known as bonding chemical.

Hasse Walum, a leading author of the study said that there was a strong evidence that the higher number of copies of the gene RS3 334 somehow causes the bonding problems in men. However, scientists didn't question the participants on whether the participants were faithful or not.

It is still not understood how the variations of RS3 334 gene work to affect commitment and bonding. Earlier it was discovered that RS3 334 gene section was linked to the feeling of trust, evoking the response in part of human brain amygdalas. Another connection of this gene with social behavior was found in a study on autism, with multiple copies of RS3 334 contributing to this disorder.

Source: NewScientist

Powered by www.infoniac.com

Add your comment:

antispam code